WorldWide Drilling Resource

18 FEBRUARY 2021 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® Sunk Cost Fallacy Sinks All Boats by Britt Storkson Owner, P2FlowLLC President John F. Kennedy, a U.S. Navy veteran, made a well-known statement about a good econ- omy in a 1963 speech, that a rising tide “lifts all boats”. Conversely, I think it would be safe to say the Sunk Cost Fallacy sinks all boats. Wikipedia defines the “Sunk Cost Fallacy” as: Escalation of commitment is a human behavior pat- tern in which an individual or group facing increasingly negative outcomes from a decision, action, or investment nevertheless continues the behavior instead of altering course. This is not a musing from some backwoods philosopher. This is an actual subject and concept which has been taught in university economics courses for many years. Just about everything in life involves a decision when to “let go”. It’s the realization that something I am doing is not worth the time it takes out of my schedule, so I move on to something else. In fact, one might say our entire life on earth is basically a series of decisions as to how we choose to spend our time. Hopefully, one makes these decisions based on facts and logic, but that doesn’t always happen because we’re human, and we have emotions which drive us from time to time - not always in a good way. One way computer control systems are very beneficial is they don’t have the emotional component and are not affected by emotional states. Computers execute only what their programming software tells them to. Nothing more, nothing less. This trait, combined with a near-perfect memory, makes them very useful and far superior to humans for a variety of tasks. However, computers, like humans and everything else in this world, have their limitations. Computers do not have the ability to make “judgment calls” - meaning coming to a satisfactory decision based on various (and even unrelated) experiences typ- ically obtained over a long period of time without the explicit instructions computers require to operate. This is different from artificial intelligence which is about computers “learning” how to operate based on the inputs they receive. For example, if a computerized thermostat is set to a certain temperature, say 68ºF (20ºC), a given number of times, the computer software will accept this as “normal” and react accordingly. The computer adjusts itself to the user or the envi- ronment, which, in certain applications, can be a big plus. I submit that all computer systems should be designed in such a way to utilize the strong points of human intelligence, as well as the strong points of the computer. If you are going to employ a human operator, you might as well fully utilize the resource. And obviously, if you are going to have a computer, then fully utilize that resource as well. Also, don’t expect the human operator to do something a computer can do better, faster, and less expensively than their human counterpart. Likewise, don’t expect a computer to make decisions only a human can make consistently and satisfactorily. For example, if you have a certain manufacturing process requiring a temperature reading and recording every minute, a computer is ideal for the task. Sure you could give an employee a clipboard, pencil and paper, and a wristwatch, then have him or her write down the temperature every minute. Even the best employee will have some distractions, need to take work breaks, lunch breaks, bathroom breaks, and the like, but a computer executes this task precisely 24/7 - reliably and inexpen- sively. Finally, one should not use a computer control simply to make everything “computerized”. Several years ago, the aircraft industry made a big push to have computers control the airplane in such a way it would “fly itself” with no pilot input needed. This went along for a time until the airplane computers started making decisions even the most incompetent pilot would not make, risking destruction of the aircraft, as well as the safety of the passengers and crew, and making the aircraft industry re-think their initial approach. So the computer control must fit the application. Anything less is a waste of time, money, and sanity. Britt Britt Storkson may be contacted via e-mail to Congrats : Ster l ing Hai r Knoxvi l le , TN Winner for January! Time for a Little Fun! January Puzzle Solution: Unscramble each set of letters to make a word by filling in the blanks; then the first letter of each word, when read from top to bottom, will reveal another word. Win a prize! Send completed puzzle to: WWDR PO Box 660 Bonifay, FL 32425 fax: 850-547-0329 or e-mail: michele@ VUERISPSE _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ AAWER _ _ _ _ _ EFERESO _ _ _ _ _ _ _ TEFCIEFEV _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ EGTAITAL _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ LEDIY _ _ _ _ _ HORSEPOWER OUTLAST BACKUP HEADROOM CUTBACK WORKHORSE BLOWOUT SETBACK CUTTERHEAD SHORTCUT